Mali became the first African nation to announce it will give its domains for free. Today the Dot ML Registry published the launch schedule for the .ML top level domain space. Dot ML – the Mali domain name – will be operated by the Agence des Technologies de l’Information et de la Communication (AGETIC) as a generic, unrestricted, clean and global TLD focusing on individuals and businesses in- and outside Mali.
Free domain names will be offered to all internet users in both Mali and other countries from July 15th onwards. This General Availability will be preceded by a Sunrise and Landrush period, to protect trademark holders worldwide. There will be no restrictions to registrations of free domains and anyone can claim its own .ML domain. Free .ML domains work exactly like any other extension and can be renewed each registration period at no charge.
“Providing free domain names to our own community and to internet users worldwide is a great opportunity for us,” says Hawa Diakité, Chef Service Gestion du .ml of AGETIC. “Because of the events in the Northern part of Mali we have been under a lot of stress lately. We believe that providing free domain names to our internet population will greatly improve the usage and the knowledge of the IT industry in our country.”
The .ML Registry will be powered by Freedom Registry. Freedom Registry has the expertise and knowledge to run a large country code registry, as it already operates .TK. Dot TK is the largest country code on the internet, with more than 16 million active domain names. Freedom Registry’s AnyCast cloud, with servers located in 15 countries, ensures continuous uptime of all domains.
The .ML launch schedule was released during the ICANN meeting in Beijing, China. The launch schedule includes a Sunrise, Landrush and General Availability phase. Sunrise starts on the 1st of May 2013 and will last for one month until May 31st. Landrush will begin the following day and will end on July 14th 2013. General Availability starts on July 15th at the ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa.
“We are proud to be the first African nation to give domain names for free," says Moussa Dolo, General Manager of AGETIC. “By providing free domain names to internet users worldwide we will put Mali back on the map. We wish to show the rest of the world the fantastic opportunities our country has to offer."
During Sunrise and Landrush, hundreds of generic and premium domain names will be released. People interested in developing and utilizing .ML domains are invited to contact the Registry to discuss strategic partnership opportunities.
General Availability will start on July 15th, at which point domain names will be available on a "first-come, first-served" basis. Resellers are not required to perform any technical integration for Sunrise and Landrush and can simply connect to the Registry via API or EPP in time for the General Availability. All phases of the ML launch are open to hosting providers, registrars and trademark protection agencies.